Sarasota Man Arrested Following Explosion

Schlabach, Michael     19-17477 photo 1     19-17477 photo 2

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sarasota man after he was witnessed fleeing the scene of an explosion.
Deputies responded to the 4600 block of Proctor Road just before 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, for reports of an explosion in an open field. Neighbors recalled seeing Michael Schlabach, DOB 12/13/92, approach a 55-gallon drum in the field across the street from his property under construction at 4727 Greenwich Road. They witnessed a loud explosion followed by a plume of white smoke come from the metal drum, and Schlabach quickly left the scene in a silver pickup truck. Members of the agency’s Hazardous Devices Unit recovered a detonated mortar and several pieces of a plastic jug from inside the drum. No injuries or property damage were reported.
Schlabach, of 4609 Cronin Drive, is charged with Discharging a Destructive Device and Violation of Probation stemming from a previous felony battery charge. He remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Jail without bond.